eBook - EHR Insider's Guide - The Secrets of Optimizing your EHR
Making your EHR run better = leverage.
On your mark, get set… STOP!
Your EHR vendor: The best optimization partner.
First, a GAP analysis. Then what?
Meaningful Use: Another chance to optimize.
Optimize your practice management system, too.
Built-in optimization: Use the latest software releases available.
Ten reasons to choose NextGen Healthcare
EHR and PM solutions.
EHR Insider’s Guide
The Secrets of
Optimizing your EHR
• Increased means of accomplishing a purpose
• The use of a small investment to gain a very high return
• To use a quality or advantage to obtain a desired result
Making your EHR run better = leverage
Yes. That’s what EHR optimization is all about.
Creating leverage for your practice to be all it can be
for your patients, your staff, and you!
It’s not that hard. This eBook summarizes best practices
for fine-tuning your EHR system.
Are your physicians or staff satisfied with your EHR?
Or are they frustrated and struggling?
EHR optimization can help staff go from
“like” to “love” your EHR...
...And can eliminate root causes of frustration
and struggles with your EHR.
How should you begin your EHR
optimization process? Read on.
Optimize your EHR to enhance patient care.
Your patients will appreciate your efforts to optimize your EHR. When you’re working
optimally with your EHR you navigate faster and easier with your system… and you can
focus more on your patient.
It’s just that simple. You spend less time on
the screen and more time with your eyes and
ears on the patient. Better patient interaction
You’ll be better able to pick up important
nuances of what patients say… and how they
say it. With an optimized EHR, you’re less likely
to miss your patient’s body language when they
ask questions or state reasons for their visit.
OK. With the important “why” question answered,
let’s get on with “how.”The very first step? Stop.
Yes, stop… and look around.
Look at every aspect of your
practice. Every part of every
workflow that involves using
your EHR system.
• Know the workflow(s) of
every person in your office
that touches the EHR –
. Reviews and checks
. Data sharing (with patients
. Claims submission process
. Data back-up
. Data analysis
. Practice performance
. Integration with your
[PM] software (full? partial?
. Performance and role of 3rd
party interfaces in your EHR
and PM system(s)
• How much of your
(PM system) integrates
with your EHR?
• Who does what tasks related
to your system(s)?
• How can (or should) each staff
member’s work style and/or
preferences be incorporated
or adjusted for the most
effective use of your EHR?
In other words: Conduct a
workflow analysis – a “GAP
It’s the best way to identify “gaps” between the optimal
use of your software resources and your current work-
flows and system usage patterns.
Understand every step and stage of all staff workflows
inside your office – physicians, nursing staff, medical
assistants, clinicians, etc., as those workflows relate to
patient flow and back-end medical coding and billing.
• It’s the only way to truly uncover how to
optimize your EHR.
• It’s the only way to leverage the performance
already built into your EHR.
• And it’s the only way you can communicate your
optimization needs back to your EHR vendor.
What does my EHR
vendor have to do with
optimizing my EHR?
Because they know your system
better than you do. So after they
know your specific objectives
for leveraging your EHR, they
can get you there much faster
(than on your own).
You may not need much help.
Or, you may need a lot. It doesn’t
matter. Just be sure to involve
your EHR vendor because they
are expert at getting the most
from their own system.
Every EHR optimization process will be unique to every practice or facility.
It will depend on your clinical and administrative workflows, patient
populations, culture of your practice, and the goals and objectives you
have for your practice.
So what’s next, after the GAP analysis? Step-by-step alterations and
improvements in how you and your staff input, share, report, and back up
your clinical and administrative data using your EHR system.
Are you or
These are all
This is ongoing. Once you start,
don’t stop. Once you get the hang
of it, you’ll realize that fine-tuning
your EHR system is ongoing.
It has to be. Consider how fast and how much the healthcare
landscape changes every year. For example, part of system
optimization includes incorporating or adjusting workflows to
stay in regulatory compliance or to attest for Meaningful Use (MU)
incentive revenue. Or maybe your practice is expanding
(or contracting) or you’re managing staff turnover.
It’s not just about
“how to fill out the screen.”
It’s about walking your staff members (providers, clinical
support staff, administrative staff) through the tasks they
perform each day with a focus on how to minimize the
number of touches needed to accomplish each task.
Or how to accomplish new tasks, or alter existing ones,
using features of your EHR system that no one on your
staff was aware of.
You might ask: “Can I accomplish this training within
normal business hours?” The answer is: “Not very well.”
Schedule some of this training in addition to your normal
office hours. Or don’t schedule patients for a few blocks
of time each month – especially in the beginning.
The overtime costs, or the loss in productivity, will help
increase your long-term return on investment (ROI)
from your technology system.
One size does not fit all. Just like there’s 10 different
ways to accomplish the same task using word processing
software, so, too, does your EHR offer many different ways
to accomplish the same task.
Particularly with physicians, don’t try to force them to
use the EHR all the same way. Physicians have different
preferences and clinical work styles that a robust EHR
Honor physician preferences as you work through EHR
optimization cycles; you can do both.
“Superusers” in your
practice can help others
use the system better.
EHR vendors develop system functionalities that can make various data
capture and sharing tasks easier, but to say that EHR optimization “is easy”
Worth it? Yes. Easy? Not the right word, although the process of continuous
optimization does get easier with time and experience.
Do it again. And again. And again.
EHR optimization is an iterative process. The myriad functions and features
of your system will bring new efficiencies to your practice. But it’s not realistic
to expect those improvements to happen all at once, during the first few
months of your EHR optimization process.
If you and your staff adopt a “long-haul” mindset, EHR optimization can
become second nature.
Many practices make it a point to schedule one-on-one
EHR optimization sessions with each staff member twice
a year or even four times a year, in addition to ongoing
This extra one-on-one face time gives you a chance to
really ferret out concerns or constraints that individual
staff members may have that might not come to light in
day-to-day activities and workflows.
Set goal dates for
using more advanced
MU1 to MU2?
Optimize for MU2!
Congratulations if you’ve attested for MU Stage 1 (MU1).
The reporting period for MU Stage 2 (MU2) begins January
1, 2014. It’s a built-in opportunity to fine-tune your EHR.
The requirements for structured data capture and
reporting are more stringent for MU2. Now is a good time
to evaluate how your workflows may need to change in
order to achieve MU2.
Ambulatory EHR 5.8 is ONC-HIT 2014-Edition
Certified* as a complete EHR. Our EHR 5.8 and our
Knowledge Base Model (KBM) 8.3 platforms are ICD-10
We’re ready when you are.
Eligible providers pursuing MU2 must upgrade
to ONC-HIT 2014-Edition certified software,
effective January 1, 2014.
While you’re at it…
“optimize your patients”
with patient portal.
More and more practices are ramping up patient
portal technology as part of their EHR optimization
process. Makes sense. Particularly if you’re pursuing
MU incentive revenue.
Having digital, two-way communication with your patient
population is a natural extension of optimizing your EHR.
And patients like the new options and convenience of
using a patient portal to connect with your practice.
The technology is a
for both the patient
and your practice.
When you optimize your
(PM) system, you use its
reporting capabilities to
gain insight into the overall
performance of your practice.
You identify opportunities to
Practices that use an integrated EHR and PM
platform can leverage similar reporting functionalities in
their EHR to gauge the effectiveness of clinical protocols
and even measure the productivity of physicians.
You scale the reporting functions on your EHR
and PM system to suit your clinical and administrative
An EHR and PM system that’s not fully integrated
hinders optimum, overall system performance.
Use the latest software releases
from your EHR vendor.
When you use the most current version(s) of software
offered by your EHR vendor you automatically position
your practice for optimum use of your software.
The newest software versions fix previously
The new features vendors develop for their latest
releases can help your practice get more from your EHR.
The primary driver for new versions of software is to
provide users with the most streamlined workflows and
ease-of-use as possible.
Achieve the highest possible
productivity while increasing
patient care quality.
Ten Reasons to choose
Our entire product
suite, including EHR
and PM, is integrated
for a complete solution
Provides the foundation
you need to meet quality
goals such as MU, PCMH,
ACO, and more
Ambulatory EHR 5.8
is ONC HIT 2014
Delivers a strong,
proven ROI via better
cash flow, streamlined
Developed with the
patient in mind to
help you deliver
Comes with a proven
designed to fit your
Scalable to any
specialty, or role—
and can be
and embraced our user-
fr iendly design
Comes with 24/7
support via a
NextGen Healthcare is a strategic partner,
not just a vendor. We’re ready to partner
with you to help you meet your evolving goals,
including getting the best and most from your
NextGen Healthcare solutions.